In a strategic position for the defence of Padua.
First the Romans, then the Longobards, the Franks of Charlemagne, the Estensis, the Svevis and finally the Republic of Venice: given its strategic position for the defence of Padua, Monselice has gleaned the styles and cultures of the civilizations of various ages. The signs of such presence can still be found in the medieval Castle, for example, its library offering the Longobard Antiquarium. Not far from the Cathedral a roadway opens up leading to the Santuario Giubiliare delle Sette Chiesette (Exalted Sanctuary of the Seven Churches), an entranceway to Villa Duodo. Those who appreciate a scenic view should not miss the trail leading to Monte Ricco.
In 602 the Byzantine castrum called Mons Silicis was conquered by the Lombard king Agilulfo, as Paolo Diacono tells in his Historia Longobardorum, the first written source on this settlement. Already a neo-eneolithic settlement (4th-3rd millennium B.C.), the traces of Monselice go back also to the Bronze Age (2nd millennium B.C.) and to the Roman Empire; under the Lombards and the Francs, Monselice was an important military stronghold and the administrative centre of a vast territory comprised between the Adige river and the Euganean Hills. Towards the middle of the 12th century it was a Commune with its own government; in 1237 it welcomed tyrant Ezzelino III da Romano, the representative of Emperor Frederic II of Swabia in the Veneto, who ordered major fortification works and made Monselice the location of violent military campaigns against Padua, Este, and the castles of the neighbouring lands. Conquered in 1338 by the da Carrara, the lords of Padua, after a whole year-long and exhausting siege, in 1405 it was annexed to the territories of the Serenissima Republic. The long and prosperous period under the Venetian rule marked the slow decline of its military bend and the flourishing of agricultural, industrial (quarrying, spinning) and trading activities, which benefited from nearby waterways for transportation. The quarrying of stone from the Colle della Rocca and from Monte Ricco marked the industrial development of the town, which reached its climax in the 1700s when a big load of trachyte left Monselice to be used to pave St. Mark’s Square in Venice (1722).